I might not be a Michael Kors fan, but his latest collection (celebratin the brand’s 40th anniversary) is so great. It’s the old, good Kors of the late 1980s and early 90s, adapted to contemporary times (well, maybe specifically the re-emergence times that will come sooner or later). How do you sum up a four-decade career in 63 looks during a pandemy? In an audienceless show, you’ve got Naomi Campbell, Helena Christensen, Carolyn Murphy, and Shalom Harlow vamping down New York’s 45th Street in evening sequins and double-face cashmere. The designer told Vogue that in the downtime of the pandemic, he’d gone searching for the “connective threads” of 40 years. “Certainly timelessness is something we’ve always prided ourselves in, something that I think our customers really appreciate.” One season he gives his runway a timely Mad Men gloss, another it gets a Studio 54 spin, but his collections are always optimistic, always unshakably him. Much of what he did first, American fashion now takes for granted. Bare legs in winter. The unexpected combination of a rhinestone-encrusted cocktail dress and a man’s topcoat. A city-country mix. An evening number with streamlined athleticism, a maillot with leather straps and matching heels. “Extremes of opulence and glamour with simplicity and ease” is how he summed up his approach. In a year when the Costume Institute is showcasing American fashion for the first time in decades it seems important to recognize that much of what we think of as American sportswear is Kors-ian sportswear. Considering our collective experience of the last 13 months, back on 45th Street Kors put the emphasis on opulence and glamour. “People are going to want to step out, get dressed up – in certain instances get overdressed. Girls are going out for a hamburger in cocktail dresses and high heels.” This was his bid to clothe them for those reemergence moments. Maybe in a red patent leather balmacaan, a “cotton ball of a shearling coat,” or a glossy black puffer cape. Or perhaps in a hand-sequined silk jersey gown in gold under a pavement-sweeping camel cashmere coat. And always with a spiky pump or slingback.
“Live” collage by Edward Kanarecki.
“Mink is the denim of Moscow” was the quote which seemed to be the most remarkable during Michael Kors‘ Resort 2016 presentation yesterday in New York. Indeed, the coats were made from mink fur and were abstractly patterned in a calm orange tone. Low-waisted pants, sandals, robe-coats and pleated skirts were here, too, resembling the famous Celine slouchiness. Although Michael Kors is known for his great talent of copying other designers (I mean, look at the latest collections from Marni, Altuzarra and again, Celine), his Resort look-book is a perfect guide for a “how to wear it” questioning girl which is too lazy for Vogue and still seeks her own style.
Michael Kors knows that simple luxury is the best. This fall, he didn’t surprise us (when did he?), but this doesn’t mean that the collection was a bore – it had a lot of interesting features I personally thought were “cool” – definitely, the fox fur worn by Natasha Poly above. Ground-breaking. Then, the vintage-like doctor bags. The voluminous midi skirts made out of wool (warm classic). More? Well, the collection itself is built of wearable, normKORS basics. The collection might be SO GOOD right now, but next year we are going to forget whether this combination of clothing and styling was presented last year or two years ago. This is a very neutral look at fashion, Michael.